Applications of Nanotechnology in Diverse Fields of Supramolecules, Green Chemistry, and Biomedical Chemistry: A Very Comprehensive Review

ABSTRACT

Nanotechnology has emerged as one of the most dynamic science and technology domains of physical sciences, molecular devices, green chemistry, biotechnology, and medicine. Nanomaterials (nanoparticles, nanowires, nanofibers, and nanotubes) have been explored in many biological applications (biosensing, biological separation, molecular imaging, and anticancer therapy). The unusual properties of nanoparticles, such as hardness, rigidity, high yield strength, flexibility, ductility, are attributed to the high surface-to- volurne ratio. Supramolecular chemistry and green chemistry are also related to concepts of nanotechnology, depicted in their applications. The realization that the nanoscale has certain properties needed to solve important medical challenges and cater to unmet medical needs is driving nanomedical research. The present chapter explores the significance of nanoscience and the latest nanotechnologies for human health. The objective of this chapter is to describe the potential benefits and impacts of nanotechnology in different areas such as green chemistry, biotechnology, and supramolecular chemistry.

INTRODUCTION

Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary area involved in the design, synthesis, characterization, and application of materials and devices having at least one dimension on the nanometer scale. It shows properties different from its bulk counterparts such as extreme hardness, high rigidity and yield strength, flexibility, ductility, quantum size effect, and macroquantum tunneling effect. Nanomaterials have a number of fascinating potential applications in a wide range of industrial sectors such as electronics, magnetic and optoelectronics, biomedical, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, energy, environmental, catalytic, space technology, and many others (Puzyn et al., 2009; Leszczynski, 2010). Supramolecular chemistry represents the chemistry beyond the molecule, noncovalent intermolecular interactions constituting the driving force for the preparation of molecular and supramolecular assemblies. Upon molecular recognition between discrete units having dimensions on the nanometer scale, chemical processes such as self-assembly and self-organisation start operating and are the leading processes to build up supramolecular aggregates and materials. The processes of self-assembly and molecular recognition of supramolecules are important in the Amctioning of many discrete numbers of assembled molecular subunits or components. The supramolecular recognition properties of the nanoparticles (NPs) are used to generate stable and ordered 3D functional nanostructures. The synthesis of NPs involves the use of toxic chemicals and harmful processes. Recent research is on the synthesis of NPs by green methods with no harmful effects and toxicity. Such a methodology is also discussed in this chapter. Within such nanoscale, we could include supramolecular biological systems, such as cell membranes, nucleic acids, proteins, as well as supramolecular artificial nanostructured materials; among them, carbon nanotubes, liquid crystals, self-assembled monolayers (SAMs), or supramolecular systems based on colloids or liposomes. Nowadays, the synthesis of nanomaterials has attracted increasing interest because of then- unique properties and promising applications (Ehrlich, 1906; Fischer, 1894).

Nanotechnology has ventured into the field of biotechnology, now also known as nanobiotechnology, to study its applications to medicine and physiology. These nanomaterials and devices are designed to allow their interaction with cells and tissues at the molecular (i.e., subcellular) level with a high degree of functional specificity.

NANOTECHNOLOGY

Nanotechnology is the science of extremely small materials. It deals with the creation of devices and systems at different levels and explores their novel properties (physical, chemical, and biological) on the nanometer scale.

CLASSIFICATION OF NANOMATERIALS

Nanomaterials can be classified as follows:

  • 1. Zero-dimensional (quantum dots) in which the movement of electrons is confined in all three dimensions.
  • 2. One-dimensional (quantum wires) in which electrons can move in one direction.
  • 3. Two-dimensional (thin films) in which the free electrons can move in the X-Y plane.
  • 4. Three-dimensional nanostructures in which electrons can move in the X,, Y, and Z directions.

Semiconductor nanocrystals are zero-dimensional quantum dots, in which the spatial distributions of the excited electron-hole pairs are confined within a small volume. Nanorods and nanowires have dimensions less than 100 nm; tubes, fibers, and platelets have dimensions less than 100 nm; and particles, quantum dots, and hollow spheres have 0 or 3 dimensions greater than 100 nm.

Nanomaterials in different phases can be classified as follows:

  • 1. Single phase: Crystals, amorphous particles, and layers are included in this class.
  • 2. Multiphase: Matrix composites and coated particles are included in multiphase solids.

Multiphase systems of nanomaterials include colloids, aerogels, ferro- fluids, etc.

 
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